Monday, April 6, 2009

Where the Heart Is - Billie Letts

Summary: Novalee Nation has always been unlucky with sevens. She's 17, seven months pregnant, 37 pounds overweight – and now she finds herself stranded at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, holding just $7.77 in change. An hour ago, she was on her way from Tennessee to a new life in Bakersfield, California. Suddenly, with all those sevens staring her in the face, she is forced to accept the scary truth: her no-good boyfriend Willy Jack Pickens has left her with empty pockets and empty dreams. But Novalee is about to discover treasures hidden in Sequoyah – a group of disparate and deeply caring people, among them blue-haired Sister Thelma Husband, who hands out advice and photocopied books of the Bible... Moses Whitecotton, the wise, soft-spoken, elderly black photographer eager to teach Novalee all he knows... and Forney Hull, the eccentric town librarian who hides his secrets – and his feelings – behind his world of books.

My Review: I picked up this novel on a whim while enjoying coffee at a friends house. I had seen the movie years ago when it first came out and enjoyed it quite a lot. Imagine my surprise when the book, in the first two chapters , put the movie to shame. The details about this young girl are brought vividly alive by the fantastic imagery and all so real emotions of that precarious time in life... seventeen.

While I found myself hopelessly enthralled by the main storyline, I found myself deeply moved by the sub plot of the 'villian' One Willy Jack Pickens. I found myself realizing that these characters had come in to my living room like a long lost aunt and told me a heartwarming (and Breaking) story about growing up, and "playing adult".

I found all the people in this book wonderfully engaging and so real! I particularly liked the part when, at the dinner prayer, Sister says "and forgive us for the fornication that me and Mr. Sprock committed right here on this very table....." That kind of quirky lovable interaction among the "cast" is what makes this story come to life.

I was slightly shocked by one graphic scene in the book, it took me by surprise and was, dare I say, a little too much?? So if you have seen the movie, just be aware, that the book goes into a lot more detail. Appropriately done, but hard to read, none the less.
I really liked this book!

My Rating: 4 stars

If I could sum this book up in one phrase: Inspiring and heartwarming.


MindySue said...

I adored this book. It's actually the only book, I think EVER, where I have seen the movie first and then read the book. I thought it was really well written. Billie Letts voice, and different characters were darn near perfection! Definitely one of my favorites.

Heather said...

Glad you enjoyed this novel. It was one of my favorites. I can't stop thinking give it back!!! :)


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